Opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with overdoses and deaths caused by prescribed and “street” drugs on the rise. The accelerating abuse of opioids includes not only painkillers that have legitimate uses, but heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl as well. The epidemic is not limited to inner city pockets of poverty; small-town America is also overcome by a tsunami of opioid addiction, putting strains on state and local social services and criminal justice systems. This event addressed the demographics and sociology of the opioid epidemic, the science of opioid addiction, and treatment options.
Daniel Ciccarone, M.D.
Professor, Family and Community Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Karen Drexler, M.D.
National Mental Health Program Director for Addictive Disorders
Veterans Healthcare Administration
Nora Volkow, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institutes of Health